February 6, 2017 Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States First Circuit) - Sentence and conviction of conspiracy, willful violation of the Investment Advisers Act, wire fraud, and corruptly impeding the administration of internal revenue laws, arising from a scheme in which defendant and a co-conspirator solicited funds for purported investment in a hedge fund management company, are affirmed where: 1) there were no deficiencies in the district court's instructions on the reasonable doubt standard; and 2) the district court did not err in refusing to grant an additional downward departure on her already below guidelines sentence.
February 3, 2017 Civil Rights, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States Fourth Circuit) - In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action alleging violations of plaintiff's constitutional rights when she was arrested and held in police custody for eighty days, specifically Fourth Amendment and tort claims in both direct and supervisory contexts, all of which center around the allegation that she was arrested without probable cause, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants on all claims is reversed and remanded where a criminal history, common race, common gender, and unfortunately common name is not enough to establish probable cause that plaintiff illegally possessed and sold crack cocaine.
February 3, 2017 Criminal Law & Procedure (United States First Circuit) - Conviction of conspiring to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, and aiding and abetting others to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 2 and 21 U.S.C. sections 841(a)(1) and 846, is vacated and remanded for a new trial where the prosecutor's improper questioning compelled defendant to comment on the veracity of two cooperating government witnesses, a problem that was exacerbated by improper judicial intervention in support of the prosecutor's questions.
February 3, 2017 Evidence, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States First Circuit) - Sentence for conviction by guilty plea to possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 2252(a)(4)(B) is affirmed over defendant's claim that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds where the district court's factual findings do not support defendant's contentions.
February 2, 2017 Habeas Corpus, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States Ninth Circuit) - Dismissal of petition for writ of habeas corpus relief from life sentence for attempted murders is reversed where, because petitioner's petition was only partially exhausted, he should have been allowed to delete the unexhausted claims and proceed on the exhausted claims if his motion to stay and abey his federal case were denied.
February 2, 2017 Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure (California Court of Appeal) - When a defendant was convicted of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and of involuntary manslaughter of a single victim, the enhanced sentence is affirmed where the trial court did not err by imposing a great bodily injury enhancement on the assault count and a stay of the term imposed on the involuntary manslaughter count.
February 2, 2017 Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States Fourth Circuit) - Sentence for conviction of carjacking, in violation 18 U.S.C. section 2119, is affirmed where the carjacking statute qualifies as a crime of violence under section 924(c), because the carjacking statute 'has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another,' 18 U.S.C. section 924(c)(3)(A).
February 2, 2017 Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure (California Court of Appeal) - Denial of Proposition 47 petition for resentencing for plea of no content to felony grand theft involving property with a value exceeding $950, Pen. Code section 487(a), is affirmed where a previously imposed sentence enhanced by a section 667.5, subdivision (b) prior prison term is not altered by the granting of a Proposition 47 application reducing the felony that gave rise to that prior prison term to a misdemeanor.
February 1, 2017 Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States Third Circuit) - On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, which vacated the opinion affirming defendant's conviction for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. section 922(g)(1), the sentence is vacated in light of Mathis v. US, the Court's latest case about predicate offenses and the categorical approach, where: 1) defendant's 1993 burglary conviction was not a predicate 'crime of violence' under the U.S.S.G.; and thus 2) defendant's Guidelines range should not have been enhanced.
February 1, 2017 Civil Rights, Criminal Law & Procedure (United States First Circuit) - In an action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 arising out of an arrest, the district court's entry of summary judgment in the officer-defendant's favor on qualified immunity grounds is reversed where given the state of the preexisting law, the unconstitutionality of a police officer's actions in taking a person into protective custody, handcuffing that person, transporting him to a police station, and jailing him without probable cause to believe that he is incapacitated should have been apparent.
Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. January 25, 2017 The Fourth Circuit ruled on Monday, in an en banc decision, that police are justified in frisking individuals with concealed firearms, regardless of whether that individual could have a concealed carry permit or not. The fact that someone may...
Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. January 23, 2017 When police officers in Washington, D.C. responded to a noise complaint one night in 2008, they found an unusual scene: women in lingerie, money hanging from their garter belts, marijuana smoke wafting through the air. It was something out...
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